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Thread: Notes from OTA #1

  1. #1
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    Notes from OTA #1

    Wexell is the absolute best of the beat writers for the Steelers. IMO his is the only thing really worth reading. Everyone else is just filler.

    Very interesting note about Urbik being second team Center and Legursky second team Guard and did some first team Center. What's with that? Oh, forgot that Urbik is a bust. May mean no Pouncey on Thursday...yea!!!!!!

    Another note that Sweed was catching everything!!!!!

    OTA No. 1:



    By Jim Wexell
    Publisher SteelCityInsider.com
    Posted Apr 20, 2010


    SCI.com publisher Jim Wexell gives his thoughts and makes some notes on each of the Steelers' Organized Training Activities. Here's the first installment:

    One writer compared the cloud of ash hanging over Europe to the cloud hanging over the Steelers’ South Side practice facility. Well, I sensed something similar as I walked to the far side of the practice field to settle in for the first OTA practice of the spring.
    “I told you I don’t want those *******s NEAR this practice field!” Mike Tomlin shouted at the new PR intern while pointing at me and another writer.

    OK, I thought to myself, this is to be expected.

    And then Tomlin broke into a big smile, walked over, shook hands and asked about our families.

    So, the ice was broken. I had wondered how Tomlin would handle the proceedings that day, and I liked the bombast and assertiveness.

    Later, he called the practice “business as usual.” He also refuted a comment made by Willie Colon that the Steelers now employ a “zero tolerance” stance on off-the-field trouble. Aaron Smith supported the coach by saying, “Guys took it different ways in how they interpreted it.”

    Regardless of what was said between head coach and players at the morning greet, Tomlin apparently said it with emotion. In my mind, his approach of upbeat bombast just might be the perfect tonic. What Colon heard is perhaps what he expected to hear.

    And let me just say a few words about Colon. He appears to be fuming over the events of the last six weeks. At one point Monday, while standing up and fielding questions from a group of reporters after practice, he said, “I have a female family and they have to read negative things, so-called things that I’ve said.” I gave Colon a chance to set the record straight, but he declined. It was probably a good move.

    But, really, I’d thought Colon came out of the mess in Milledgeville unscathed for the most part. I don’t recall anything negative written about him, other than the occasional message board post that, “He’s just another troublemaker out of the Bronx.”

    Let me just say that Colon is far from that stereotype. If you know anything about him, you know he’s a guy who did all the right things to scratch and claw his way out of a difficult environment. He didn’t just get by with talent and catch a lucky break. No, he was raised by good people and kept his nose to the grindstone (and gridiron) to make it to the big time. In my opinion, Ben Roethlisberger is helped more by Colon’s friendship than vice versa.

    As for Colon’s anger, it probably doesn’t help him that he’s on track to become a restricted free agent for a third consecutive year next March, and that would be – because of bad timing and the lapsing of the CBA – an NFL record. He’s probably feeling as if he’ll never cash in the way his contemporaries have, and that the stink from Milledgeville won’t help his cause. But he’s a smart guy who’s scratched and clawed out of messes before. If he keeps his head, it’ll happen again.

    Now, on the field, I was struck first by Kraig Urbik playing center for the second-team line while the normal second-team center, Doug Legursky, played right guard on the same line.

    This occurred during the first of three “team” scrimmage sessions, and I hadn’t counted heads on the first team. So I made sure to do so at the start of the next two team sessions, and I noticed Legursky was the first-team center.


    I’m not sure what to make of it. Last year’s starter, Justin Hartwig, seemed healthy. He snapped in 7-on-7 drills (but injured centers will do that). Even if he was healthy, I wouldn’t know what to read into it. Were the Steelers taking one last look at Legursky before drafting Maurkice Pouncey on Thursday? I guess we’ll learn more Thursday night.

    Hines Ward was the only absent starter (Ryan Mundy and Johnny Williams were the only players standing on the sideline without helmets, meaning they’re injured). So with Ward missing, and Santonio Holmes gone, Mike Wallace, Antwaan Randle El and Limas Sweed received plenty of work. Wallace beat Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu by nearly five yards deep on one play, but Roethlisberger badly underthrew the pass.

    Randle El was his typically loud and brash and positive self, and Sweed, wearing No. 80, caught everything thrown his way while all the coaches seemed to lay on the positive encouragement pretty thick.

    Earlier in the day, Sweed had released a worthless statement that he was glad to be back at practice (after missing the last few weeks last season for “personal reasons,” but that was not addressed in the statement) and he was off-limits to reporters after practice.

    Speaking of Sweed’s No. 80, here are the new players and their numbers: Adam Graessle 8, Jason Chery 13, Brandon London 15, Will Allen 26, David Pittman 30, Trae Williams 35, Derrick Doggett 45, Renauld Williams 48, Johnny Williams 53, Jonathan Scott 72, Arnaz Battle 81 and Randle El 82.

    As for Allen wearing Deshea Townsend’s No. 26, it came as a bit of a surprise since Townsend’s still working out, still playing on the Steelers’ basketball team, and still hoping the team signs him after the draft.

    Just a couple of other notes: Randle El and Stefan Logan handled all of the punt-return duties, and Joe Burnett, a second-team corner, broke beautifully on a pass, cut inside the receiver running a hitch, but dropped the interception.

    On a more positive note, the second-team backfield of fullback Frank Summers and tailback Isaac Redman appears as if it’s ready to start the season. Both players appear to be in great shape and both worked Monday as if they were telling the team not to draft any running backs this week.

    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

  2. #2
    Pro Bowler calmkiller's Avatar
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    Re: Notes from OTA #1

    Good Read
    LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!
    Here We Go Steelers!


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  3. #3

    Re: Notes from OTA #1

    Wallace beat Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu by nearly five yards deep on one play, but Roethlisberger badly underthrew the pass.
    Now there's a surprise. I have to wonder what might've happened if Ben had spent as much of his offseason working on his passing as he did working the clubs.


    Joe Burnett, a second-team corner, broke beautifully on a pass, cut inside the receiver running a hitch, but dropped the interception.
    Well, I guess he's gonna fit right in with Gay and Ike.



    On a more positive note, the second-team backfield of fullback Frank Summers and tailback Isaac Redman appears as if it’s ready to start the season. Both players appear to be in great shape and both worked Monday as if they were telling the team not to draft any running backs this week.
    Dang. Too bad Wexell doesn't read this board...he'd realize by now that Summers is a bust and Redman is a worthless bum, and we HAVE to spend a high draft pick on a RB.


  4. #4
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    Re: Notes from OTA #1

    Quote Originally Posted by BradshawsHairdresser
    Wallace beat Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu by nearly five yards deep on one play, but Roethlisberger badly underthrew the pass.
    Now there's a surprise. I have to wonder what might've happened if Ben had spent as much of his offseason working on his passing as he did working the clubs.


    [quote:15xr1ip9]
    Joe Burnett, a second-team corner, broke beautifully on a pass, cut inside the receiver running a hitch, but dropped the interception.
    Well, I guess he's gonna fit right in with Gay and Ike.



    On a more positive note, the second-team backfield of fullback Frank Summers and tailback Isaac Redman appears as if it’s ready to start the season. Both players appear to be in great shape and both worked Monday as if they were telling the team not to draft any running backs this week.
    Dang. Too bad Wexell doesn't read this board...he'd realize by now that Summers is a bust and Redman is a worthless bum, and we HAVE to spend a high draft pick on a RB.

    [/quote:15xr1ip9]

    Burnett will be fine. I told everyone before last year's draft he breaks on balls better than any DB I have ever seen. The INTs will come. The key is he is putting himself in position to go for the INT and at the very least break up the pass. That in itself is a big upgrade over Ike and Gay.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Notes from OTA #1

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Wexell is the absolute best of the beat writers for the Steelers. IMO his is the only thing really worth reading. Everyone else is just filler.

    Very interesting note about Urbik being second team Center and Legursky second team Guard and did some first team Center. What's with that? Oh, forgot that Urbik is a bust. May mean no Pouncey on Thursday...yea!!!!!!

    Another note that Sweed was catching everything!!!!!

    OTA No. 1:



    By Jim Wexell
    Publisher SteelCityInsider.com
    Posted Apr 20, 2010


    SCI.com publisher Jim Wexell gives his thoughts and makes some notes on each of the Steelers' Organized Training Activities. Here's the first installment:

    One writer compared the cloud of ash hanging over Europe to the cloud hanging over the Steelers’ South Side practice facility. Well, I sensed something similar as I walked to the far side of the practice field to settle in for the first OTA practice of the spring.
    “I told you I don’t want those *******s NEAR this practice field!” Mike Tomlin shouted at the new PR intern while pointing at me and another writer.

    OK, I thought to myself, this is to be expected.

    And then Tomlin broke into a big smile, walked over, shook hands and asked about our families.

    So, the ice was broken. I had wondered how Tomlin would handle the proceedings that day, and I liked the bombast and assertiveness.

    Later, he called the practice “business as usual.” He also refuted a comment made by Willie Colon that the Steelers now employ a “zero tolerance” stance on off-the-field trouble. Aaron Smith supported the coach by saying, “Guys took it different ways in how they interpreted it.”

    Regardless of what was said between head coach and players at the morning greet, Tomlin apparently said it with emotion. In my mind, his approach of upbeat bombast just might be the perfect tonic. What Colon heard is perhaps what he expected to hear.

    And let me just say a few words about Colon. He appears to be fuming over the events of the last six weeks. At one point Monday, while standing up and fielding questions from a group of reporters after practice, he said, “I have a female family and they have to read negative things, so-called things that I’ve said.” I gave Colon a chance to set the record straight, but he declined. It was probably a good move.

    I like Willie and wish the Steelers would sign him long term now that the market for him has been established. He'll get over the false starts, etc. he's a smart guy.

    But, really, I’d thought Colon came out of the mess in Milledgeville unscathed for the most part. I don’t recall anything negative written about him, other than the occasional message board post that, “He’s just another troublemaker out of the Bronx.”

    Let me just say that Colon is far from that stereotype. If you know anything about him, you know he’s a guy who did all the right things to scratch and claw his way out of a difficult environment. He didn’t just get by with talent and catch a lucky break. No, he was raised by good people and kept his nose to the grindstone (and gridiron) to make it to the big time. In my opinion, Ben Roethlisberger is helped more by Colon’s friendship than vice versa.

    Quoted for truth, I hope Ben uses Willie to learn some social graces.

    As for Colon’s anger, it probably doesn’t help him that he’s on track to become a restricted free agent for a third consecutive year next March, and that would be – because of bad timing and the lapsing of the CBA – an NFL record. He’s probably feeling as if he’ll never cash in the way his contemporaries have, and that the stink from Milledgeville won’t help his cause. But he’s a smart guy who’s scratched and clawed out of messes before. If he keeps his head, it’ll happen again.

    Now, on the field, I was struck first by Kraig Urbik playing center for the second-team line while the normal second-team center, Doug Legursky, played right guard on the same line.

    This occurred during the first of three “team” scrimmage sessions, and I hadn’t counted heads on the first team. So I made sure to do so at the start of the next two team sessions, and I noticed Legursky was the first-team center.


    I’m not sure what to make of it. Last year’s starter, Justin Hartwig, seemed healthy. He snapped in 7-on-7 drills (but injured centers will do that). Even if he was healthy, I wouldn’t know what to read into it. Were the Steelers taking one last look at Legursky before drafting Maurkice Pouncey on Thursday? I guess we’ll learn more Thursday night.

    Hines Ward was the only absent starter (Ryan Mundy and Johnny Williams were the only players standing on the sideline without helmets, meaning they’re injured). So with Ward missing, and Santonio Holmes gone, Mike Wallace, Antwaan Randle El and Limas Sweed received plenty of work. Wallace beat Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu by nearly five yards deep on one play, but Roethlisberger badly underthrew the pass.

    Randle El was his typically loud and brash and positive self, and Sweed, wearing No. 80, caught everything thrown his way while all the coaches seemed to lay on the positive encouragement pretty thick.

    Earlier in the day, Sweed had released a worthless statement that he was glad to be back at practice (after missing the last few weeks last season for “personal reasons,” but that was not addressed in the statement) and he was off-limits to reporters after practice.

    Please, please, please continue to catch everything thrown your way. I like Sweed and I can't figure out why; I think because through all of his problems catching and immaturity in the game where he feigned being hurt he has never complained, at least not publicly. I like that in a player.

    Speaking of Sweed’s No. 80, here are the new players and their numbers: Adam Graessle 8, Jason Chery 13, Brandon London 15, Will Allen 26, David Pittman 30, Trae Williams 35, Derrick Doggett 45, Renauld Williams 48, Johnny Williams 53, Jonathan Scott 72, Arnaz Battle 81 and Randle El 82.

    As for Allen wearing Deshea Townsend’s No. 26, it came as a bit of a surprise since Townsend’s still working out, still playing on the Steelers’ basketball team, and still hoping the team signs him after the draft.

    Just a couple of other notes: Randle El and Stefan Logan handled all of the punt-return duties, and Joe Burnett, a second-team corner, broke beautifully on a pass, cut inside the receiver running a hitch, but dropped the interception.

    Please don't be Ike II

    On a more positive note, the second-team backfield of fullback Frank Summers and tailback Isaac Redman appears as if it’s ready to start the season. Both players appear to be in great shape and both worked Monday as if they were telling the team not to draft any running backs this week.


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  6. #6
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    Re: Notes from OTA #1

    Urbik is so bad that he's been removed from the OG rotation all together & now is the 3rd string OC?





    Here's what Chadman takes from the first OTA...Sweed is back, but the FO feels he needs constant encouragement to catch anything & stay sane. The OL looks the same as last year. The Steelers 'leaders' are the ones doing the most talking- taking pressure off Ben. Troy turns up to 'test his knee' also coincides with an appearance of the Steelers #1 nice guy during the organisations darkest hour. There is more to Troy being at the OTA than 'testing his knee'- here's betting either his principles lead him to believing he had to be there to support his football team, or the Rooney's were on the phone a couple of days ago- Hey Troy, any chance you could make an appearance at the OTA's and remind the Steelers fans we still have some class?". Joe Burnett is best known in a Steeler uniform for dropping an INT. Now he drops one at practice- way to go proving the FO don't need to add a CB!
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  7. #7
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    Re: Notes from OTA #1

    That is very interesting about Urbik, Legursky, and Hartwig. Versatility can save a job. Even if Urbik proves to be back-up material the ability to play all 3 interior spots makes him valuable. It will be interesting to see how he plays against live rounds. I personally believe that would be his best position based on his skill set. As long as he has the shotgun down...He could elevate into a Top C with some good coaching. And I just changed my mock from Iupati to trading down for Pouncey. I can't wait until this is over!!!



  8. #8
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    Re: Notes from OTA #1

    Quote Originally Posted by JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
    That is very interesting about Urbik, Legursky, and Hartwig. Versatility can save a job. Even if Urbik proves to be back-up material the ability to play all 3 interior spots makes him valuable. It will be interesting to see how he plays against live rounds. I personally believe that would be his best position based on his skill set. As long as he has the shotgun down...He could elevate into a Top C with some good coaching. And I just changed my mock from Iupati to trading down for Pouncey. I can't wait until this is over!!!
    Keep Iupati. He is All Pro potential. Pouncey is just solid starter potential IMO.

    I want Iupati because I think he excels at Guard and has the upside to be a dominant RT. This could be very valuable if we can't keep Colon and if we do we end up with a totally dominat side of our OL.

    With Hartwig, Legursky and now possibly Urbik we don't need another Center.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Notes from OTA #1

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Quote Originally Posted by JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
    That is very interesting about Urbik, Legursky, and Hartwig. Versatility can save a job. Even if Urbik proves to be back-up material the ability to play all 3 interior spots makes him valuable. It will be interesting to see how he plays against live rounds. I personally believe that would be his best position based on his skill set. As long as he has the shotgun down...He could elevate into a Top C with some good coaching. And I just changed my mock from Iupati to trading down for Pouncey. I can't wait until this is over!!!
    Keep Iupati. He is All Pro potential. Pouncey is just solid starter potential IMO.

    I want Iupati because I think he excels at Guard and has the upside to be a dominant RT. This could be very valuable if we can't keep Colon and if we do we end up with a totally dominat side of our OL.

    With Hartwig, Legursky and now possibly Urbik we don't need another Center.
    You could be on to something as far as Iupati goes. Maybe they decide to wait another year or two to draft a C. But we definitely need a RG. BUT, just because we have the 3 mentioned bodies at C, that doesn't mean we don't need to draft a GOOD center. Pouncey could play RG for a year or two, so there is flexibility there as well.

  10. #10
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    Re: Notes from OTA #1

    Steelers Casey Hampton in best shape of career

    Nose tackle Casey Hampton has been working out regularly at the Steelers’ practice facility, and apparently it shows. “I told him it’s the best he’s ever looked at this time of year,” defensive end Aaron Smith said. The 6-foot-1 Hampton is listed at 325 pounds, but the five-time Pro Bowler is the first to say he hasn’t been at that weight in a long time. That may be changing after Hampton, 32, signed a three-year, $21.2 million contract in February. “I’ve seen him in all shapes and forms,” Smith said. “And he looks good right now.” — Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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